From My Bookshelf: The Broken Earth Trilogy

June got away from me and I forgot to write a From My Bookshelf post, but I’m excited to be writing this edition. It is quite similar to the one I wrote in May, in that it is part book haul, part celebration for finally having a classic series (The Broken Earth Trilogy) on my shelves, and part celebration of a Maine independent bookstore.

I read the first book in the series, The Fifth Season, last year, and like all fans of The Broken Earth Trilogy I was enamored by both the story and N.K. Jemisin’s writing. I had planned to read the sequel, The Obelisk Gate, during last year’s 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge, but could not finish it before having to return it to the library (there were many holds on it so I could not keep renewing it). I haven’t returned to the series since.

Fast forward to nowadays, when I’m doing more and more [online] book browsing at my local bookstores and am turning to books not on my immediate TBR (nothing different there, ha). I happened to be on Longfellow Books’ website and saw the boxed set for The Broken Earth Trilogy was available. There was no contemplation: I purchased the set and waited for its arrival.

Today the set arrived at my door and I was so excited to place the books on my shelves. Now I’m trying to think of how I can fit in a reread of The Fifth Season and continue along in the series while reading all the other books I’m in the middle of…stay tuned for updates on that. 😉


The Fifth Season: This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The Obelisk Gate: The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

The Stone Sky: The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

This is the way the world ends…for the last time.

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